The United Nations (UN) Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week is annually observed across the globe from 24th to 31st October to raise awareness of the importance of media and information literacy (MIL) and to celebrate the progress made towards achieving MIL for all.
- 24-31 October 2023 marks the observance of the 12th Global Media and Information Literacy Week.
The 2023 theme of Global MIL Week is, “Media and Information Literacy in Digital Spaces: A Collective Global Agenda.”
- The theme emphasises the significance of digital spaces, paving the way for enhanced multilateral collaboration with various digital platforms and stakeholders.
The annual event of Global MIL Week is organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
- The 2023 Global MIL Week was scheduled in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Note: Due to regional circumstances, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and UNESCO have decided to postpone the event originally planned for 23-25 October at the Dead Sea. The new date for the conference will be communicated promptly as soon as possible.
i.In June 2011, the first edition of the International Forum on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) held in Fez, Morocco came up with the Fez Declaration on MIL.
- It dedicated that World Media and Information Literacy Week should be celebrated from 15-21 June every year.
ii.Initiated in 2012, Global MIL Week was a collaborative effort led by UNESCO in partnership with the UNESCO MIL Alliance, formerly known as the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC), and the Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network.
iii.In 2019, the UNESCO General Conference at its 40th session adopted a resolution and decided to proclaim Global MIL Week to be observed from 24 to 31 October each year.
iv.In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/75/267 and proclaimed 24 to 31 October of each year the Global MIL Week.
i.Global MIL Week mobilizes worldwide stakeholders to raise awareness and aims to increase national take-up of Media and Information Literacy.
ii.It also recognizes the achievements since 2011 towards Media and Information Literacy for All.
The International Conference of the Global MIL 2023 schedule includes:
i.Plenary sessions and side events organized by UNESCO and local/global partners.
ii.A Youth Newsroom: Hosted by a local institution or university that brings together young people (especially journalism students and youth with a media background) globally.
iii.5th Global MIL Youth Hackathon:
- The Global MIL Youth Hackathon is an integral part of the Global MIL Week Youth Agenda Forum.
- It is an opportunity for young people and youth organizations worldwide to participate in creating innovative MIL learning in meaningful ways.
- UNESCO and partners encouraging global youth participation in a virtual hackathon. It is tasked with designing creative responses to predefined social challenges, in connection with the 2023 theme: “Youth powering media and information literacy in digital spaces.”
Global MIL Awards:
The Global MIL Awards are presented every year at the Global MIL Week feature conference. Global MIL Awards recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions of MIL champions since the inaugural edition in 2016.
- The MIL Alliance Awards recognize information/library, media and technology specialists, educators, artists, activists, researchers, policymakers, NGOs, associations, and other groups integrating MIL in an innovative way in their work and related activities.
- The awards recognise excellence and leadership in 5 sectors: Education, Research, Policy, Advocacy, Media, and Communication/Information Industries.
Note: The UNESCO MIL Alliance aims to promote international cooperation to ensure that all citizens have access to media and information literacy competencies.
i.With 62.5% global internet users and 58.4% active on social media, the digital space’s widespread influence is undeniable.
ii.In June 2023, the UN published a policy brief on “Information Integrity on Digital Platforms,” revealing that 75% of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country offices had identified information pollution as a significant concern.
iii.A global survey found that 58.5% of frequent internet and social media users express concerns regarding encountering misinformation online.
- Particularly, young individuals and those from low-income brackets face increased susceptibility to online misinformation.
iv.UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report for 2023 indicates that approximately 50% of 15-year-olds in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries lack proficiency in differentiating facts from opinions.
- These revelations emphasize the immediate necessity to prioritise and strengthen MIL education globally.